Legal Mapping

As I’ve been reflecting on different patterns and models of Access projects, I’ve realized that we should be investing in a massive Legal Pathways Mapping project. We should be creating consistent (and hopefully also smart, interactive, encoded) maps of all the legal procedures that are amenable to be mapped.

Legal Mapping project - Open Law Lab

The output would be usable, procedural, visuals, to give people a birds eye view of the legal world they are living in, and the specific steps they can take to move along the path.

I hear requests for legal infographics from people outside the legal sector who want to be more literate in law. But I don’t think traditional infographics, with a smattering of facts, data points, and graphs are what will be most useful. Visuals that talk through the basics of a legal topic have some use, but process-based maps — whether they are the 1-2-3-4-5 of steps to get through a procedure, or the branching decision tree to tell you if you are eligible for a legal procedure or not — have much greater value.